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New Cross string of crashes prompts call for 'road tsar' to stop deaths
Cyclists Ray Woolford, Martin Allen, and George Hallam navigate New Cross Road where there have been a string of serious crashes
A STRING of serious crashes in New Cross has prompted calls for a Lewisham "road tsar" to counter an "appalling" level of accidents and deaths.
In the past five weeks, News Shopper has reported on five serious accidents along the strip of busy road between New Cross and New Cross Gate stations.
They include the death of pedestrian Alan Greenwell who was hit by a grey BMW outside New Cross Station, a young motorcyclist taken to hospital after a four car pile-up outside New Cross Gate Station, and a pedestrian hit by a motorbike outside the same station.
New Cross ward Labour councillor Councillor Paul Maslin said: "Of course we are very concerned.
"There hasn’t been that level of incidents in such a short space of time before.
"I don’t know whether it is something to do with the layout of the road or terrible coincidence."
But Ray Woolford, who volunteers at the We Care Food Bank in New Cross Road, says he frequently sees cyclists knocked off their bikes and many more take place which have not been reported. The 54-year-old said: "We see it quite regularly.
"People don’t generally report them unless an ambulance attended.
"Quite a lot of people get knocked off their bike, have a yell and scream and then get back onto their bike and go.
"It is happening far too often.
"New Cross is manically busy.
"It is a combination of poor signage, bad traffic lights and the haphazard flow of traffic leading to this appalling level of accidents and deaths."
The People Before Profit spokesman added: "We should have a new road tsar for Lewisham so that they are responsible for the sheer volume of traffic coming through the borough.
"We need someone looking cohesively at the borough or more people will die on the streets of New Cross."
He went on to say one of the main problems is the number of lorries travelling to new developments in Lewisham which block cyclists and motorcyclists from drivers’ view.
Director of Surface Strategy and Planning at TfL Ben Plowden said: "We were sorry to hear about recent collisions in the New Cross area and our thoughts go out to the friends and families of those involved.
"Every single collision on London's roads is one too many, and the safety of all road users is our utmost priority.
"Every fatality on the TfL Road Network is fully investigated by the Metropolitan Police.
"We are fully cooperating with their investigation of these incidents and will look to deliver any recommendations they make following their investigation."
Timeline of recent crashes in New Cross
October 14: Moped driver hit by a car between New Cross Gate and New Cross Stations.
October 8: New Cross Road junction with Florence Road blocked by road traffic accident. Emergency services attended.
October 6: A 26-year-old motorcyclist taken to hospital following a smash involving four cars on the A2 at the junction with New Cross Road and Nettleton Road.
October 1: Collision close to New Cross Station leads to slow traffic in Amersham Vale.
September 23: Male pedestrian in his 20s taken to hospital with a leg injury after being hit by a motorbike outside New Cross Gate Station
September 20: A 79-year-old man went into cardiac arrest and died about becoming trapped under a car in Amersham Road near the junction with Lewisham Way.
September 15: Pedestrian Alan Greenwell dies from head injuries after being hit by a grey BMW outside New Cross Gate Station.
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